Gender Differences in the Presence of Drugs in Violent Deaths.
ABSTRACT AIMS: To investigate differences in the presence of drugs, by gender, when considering deaths attributable to homicides and suicides. DESIGN: Logistic regression analysis of mortality data collected by the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: 5,791 Colorado decedents who died of violent causes from 2004 through 2009. MEASUREMENT: Forensic pathologist autopsy data on drug presence at time of death, coded as present, not present, or missing. FINDINGS: Postmortem presence of drugs is strongly associated with the specific cause of violent death. Compared with suicide decedents, homicide decedents are significantly more likely to test positive for amphetamines (odds ratio (OR) 1.79; CI 1.34, 2.39), marijuana (OR 2.03; CI 1.60, 2.58), and cocaine (OR 2.60; CI 2.04, 3.31), and are less likely to test positive for opiates (OR 0.27; CI 0.18, 0.39) and antidepressants (OR 0.17; CI 0.10, 0.28). When other drugs are controlled for the influence of alcohol is abated dramatically. The patterns of drug prevalence associated with homicide (particularly marijuana) are stronger among males; the patterns of drug prevalence associated with suicide are stronger among females. CONCLUSIONS: Suicide and homicide decedents are characterized by varying patterns of licit and illicit drug use that differ by gender. Drugs associated with homicide (marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines) are stronger among males; while drugs associated with suicide are stronger among females (antidepressants and opiates). Taking these differences into consideration may allow for targeted interventions to reduce violent deaths.
SourceAvailable from: nih.gov
Article: Suicide and antidepressants.BMJ Clinical Research 02/1995; 310(6974):205-6. · 14.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine differences between racial/ethnic groups in overall rates of death by homicide, proportion of firearm homicides, and the use of cocaine prior to death. Descriptive epidemiologic survey of a complete 2-year sample of homicides. New York City, NY (population 7,322,564). All residents (N = 4298) of New York City who were victims of homicide during 1990 and 1991. Using medical examiner data, age- and gender-specific rates of homicide were calculated for African Americans, Latinos, and whites. Separate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between demographic variables and both recent cocaine use and firearm-related homicides. Young African-American and Latino men were more likely to be victims of homicide than all other demographic groups. Approximately three fourths of all homicides involved firearms. In the subset of homicide victims dying within 48 hours (n = 3890), 31.0% were positive for cocaine metabolites. African Americans (odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2 to 2.1), Latinos (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.9), and victims 25 through 34 years of age (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 2.5 to 3.5) and 35 through 44 years of age (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 2.2 to 3.4) were more likely to be positive for cocaine metabolites than other groups. Young males and females were equally likely to have used cocaine before death. Victims 15 through 24 years of age were more likely than other age groups to be killed by a firearm. African Americans (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.3), Latinos (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.0), and Asians (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.6) were more likely than whites to be killed by a firearm. Men (OR, 4.8; 95% CI, 4.0 to 5.9) were more likely than women to be killed by a firearm. There was no association between having used cocaine before death and being killed by a firearm. The high rates of death by homicide among young African Americans and Latinos may be due to the increased involvement with both cocaine use and firearms. New efforts must be made to decrease cocaine use and firearm availability.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 08/1994; 272(1):43-6. · 30.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Studies using medical examiner cases are useful in monitoring drug use in special populations. This study assesses the presence of cocaine and its metabolite, benzoylecgonine (BE), opiates and ethanol in all homicide victims who were injured and who survived two hours or less after injury in 1990 and 1991 in New York City. There were 2824 homicides in the study period and cocaine and/or BE were found in 884 (31.3%) of cases. In over half of the cases positive for cocaine/BE, ethanol or opiates were found. African-Americans and Latinos were much more likely than whites or Asians to be positive for cocaine/BE. There were no differences between men and women in regard to being positive for cocaine/BE. Cocaine/BE was most frequently identified among victims 25 to 44 years of age. Males were more likely to be positive for ethanol. There were no differences among age groups or ethnic groups in regard to ethanol except for a very low ethanol incidence among Asians. Victims positive for cocaine/BE were more likely to be killed with firearms in open places. The percentage of victims positive for cocaine/BE remains approximately that found by other studies in the late 1980s, however, the percentage of opiate-positive homicides seems to be increasing. Opiates usually were found with cocaine/BE. Two-thirds of the cocaine and/or BE positive cases had cocaine present, thus they were under the influence of the drug at the time they were injured. The authors discuss how the use of cocaine, ethanol and opiates may be related to one's becoming a homicide victim.Journal of Forensic Sciences 06/1995; 40(3):387-90. · 1.31 Impact Factor